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"Increased Internet Attacks Against U.S. Web Sites and Mail Servers Possible in Early May"
April 26, 2001

Citing recent events between the United States and the People's Republic of China (PRC), malicious hackers have escalated web page defacements over the Internet. This communication is to advise network administrators of the potential for increased hacker activity directed at U.S. systems during the period of April 30, 2001 to May 07, 2001. Chinese hackers have publicly discussed increasing their activity during this period, which coincides with dates of historic significance in the PRC: May 01 is May Day; May 04 is Youth Day; and, May 07 is the anniversary of the accidental bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade.

To date, hackers already have unlawfully defaced a number of U.S. web sites, replacing existing content with pro-Chinese or anti-U.S. rhetoric. In addition, the NIPC previously reported on an Internet worm named "Lion" that is infecting computers and installing distributed denial of service (DDoS) tools on various systems. Analysis of the Lion worm's source code reveals that, when illegally exploited, it sends password files from the victim site to an e-mail address located in China. For more information on the Lion DDoS tool, refer to NIPC Advisory 01-005.

As a result of the activity already seen, together with public statements threatening increased illegal activity, network and system administrators are encouraged to more closely monitor their web sites and mail servers during April 30, 2001 through May 07, 2001 for attacks that could include web page defacements and denial-of-service attacks.

Recipients of this advisory are encouraged to report computer intrusions to their local FBI office (http://www.fbi.gov/contact/fo/fo.htm) or the NIPC, and to other appropriate authorities. Incidents may be reported online at http://www.nipc.gov/incident/cirr.htm. The NIPC Watch and Warning Unit can be reached at (202) 323-3204/3205/3206 or nipc.watch@fbi.gov.